José Mourinho heaped praise on Fernando Torres and his team's defence as Chelsea registered an eye-catching 3-0 success at Schalke to wrest back control of Group E.
The London club top the group after Torres's two goals and a late third from Eden Hazard secured the manager's first Champions League victory away to a German side. Mourinho, who confirmed he would be accepting a Football Association charge of improper conduct, said his team can realistically target winning the section, having recovered from their surprise home defeat by Basel in the opening round.
"After that first game we were last and now we are top of the group," he said. "Because of my experience I was not in hell after the first game and I'm not in heaven today. I'm calm but I know we have two matches at home to come and, normally, we are going to get enough points to qualify. After six points we can think first to qualify and then, after that, maybe also about finishing first in the group. Torres's goals will boost the team, for sure, and that's the most important thing.
"What will boost him is the confidence I have in him. Samuel [Eto'o] played a very good game against Cardiff and scored the decisive goal but I thought Fernando was better adapted for this game. If he didn't play well and the team didn't have a result, people would have asked why we had changed. But I had faith in him and he did well. He must be happy now."
Mourinho will be in the dugout against Manchester City on Sunday, having accepted the FA's charge after he was sent to the stands by the referee, Anthony Taylor, during Saturday's victory over Cardiff. The manager had grown frustrated at perceived time-wasting by the visitors with his frustrations eventually boiling over on the touchline, but he will pay the standard 8,000 fine rather than appeal and risk a greater penalty. "I read what the referee wrote in his report and he is honest and fair," he said. "It is exactly what happened and is exactly why the punishment is justified and not to be suspended from the next match. What the referee wrote is the truth. I was not offensive or aggressive, I didn't use offensive words. I just had a bit of a disagreement. That, in the game, is usually resolved with a: 'Shut up and sit down.' You don't need to send me to the stands. But at least the referee was honest with what he wrote, so I accept the fine and, against Manchester City, I can work."
His team will go into the game against City with confidence buoyed by another resounding success – 14 goals having been scored in four matches. "Normally you go to the goalscorers, and Fernando and Eden played a very good game, but I think everything started with the way we defended," added Mourinho. "My goalkeeper, my four defenders and Ramires and [Frank] Lampard gave us fantastic stability. We know the way Schalke play here and we knew that stability would give us the chance to keep a clean sheet and recover the ball.
"After that, we could find conditions to use the spaces they normally give. The game was good for us. We had a difficult period in the first half, which every team has, and Schalke were dominant then. But we were always very compact after that and solid, controlled the game and were dangerous, and my team deserved the points."
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk